Animal Farm

Consent to Destruction: the Phases of Fraternity and Separation in Animal Farm

Within George Orwell’s simple allegory Animal Farm lie lessons about the complex bonds between leadership, fraternity, and self-agency. The animals are at first subjugated by humans in a communal voiceless suffering, but Old Major inspires them to mobilize their powerful fraternity for their own good. However, the readers cringe as the originally successful revolution becomes increasingly thwarted; first, the intelligent pigs take over; then, the government devolves into a military dictatorship which destroys the original fraternity by creating a schism between the pigs and the other animals. Though the working animals are separated from their leaders, once again they find comfort in a frightened togetherness. Thus, each phase of the revolution is a step in a cycle of unity and separation. However the cycle is imperfect since as the story closes, the animals are stranded, unable to act for themselves in the face of Squealer’s rhetoric; the power in their frightened unity can only be exploited by the pigs who, separated into a different category, do not have their interests at heart. The tragedy of the revolution is not simply that the pigs become even crueler oppressors than original man, but that at each step towards tyranny,...

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